Major banks deny loans clampdown

By Tony Halstead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bank, Lloyds banking group, Lloyds tsb

HSBC has tightened loans to leisure sector
HSBC has tightened loans to leisure sector
Major banks have denied they are tightening the screw on loans and overdrafts as the economic slowdown continues to hit the leisure sector.

Major banks have denied they are tightening the screw on loans and overdrafts as the economic slowdown continues to hit the pubs and leisure sector.

It follows revelations by banker HSBC that it has restricted its loan facilities to "certain companies".

The bank said the leisure sector had suffered difficulties and it had been forced to tighten its lending criteria.

But three other clearing banks - Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB -say they are not going down the same route.

Trade groups and finance brokers also say they have not detected any material change of policy by the majority of banks.

HSBC says it is still open for business as far as the pub sector is concerned and, although it has tightened its criteria, loans and overdrafts will depend on individual circumstances.

"Unfortunately, this sector has experienced some difficulties, a spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph.

Barclays said it was "business as normal" for the leisure sector.

"While it is clear the sector has gone through a year that has had a major impact on businesses, there has been no radical review of the leisure sector," said a spokesman for Barclays Commercial Banking.

He added that the industry had confronted such challenging issues as the smoking ban and increased business overheads "remarkably well".

The Royal Bank Of Scotland said its attitude towards the pub sector had remained unchanged. "Its business as usual. We look after businesses in tough times as well as the good times," said a spokesperson.

Lloyds TSB said its policy remained the same and it had not applied any restrictions to any particular business sector.

Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: "We understand the need for careful assessment of business risk, but if the banks had not been so profligate with sub-prime insurance, we wouldn't be in this current mess.

"They would do well to remember that pubs are cash businesses, built on bricks and mortar and they have been around long before the banks," he said.

Related topics: Professional Services & Utilities

Property of the week

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more